CLEVELAND (AP) — They didn’t look like themselves at all. Not with the turnovers, penalties and blown chances.
These weren’t the Pittsburgh Steelers of old.
And it had little to do with their 37-year-old quarterback.
“That was an ugly performance,” coach Mike Tomlin said.
With their playoff lives in peril, the Steelers committed eight turnovers and third-string QB Charlie Batch didn’t do enough to overcome the miscues as Pittsburgh lost 20-14 to Cleveland on Sunday, giving the Browns a rare win over their hated rivals.
“When you turn the ball over the way we did, you’re not going to beat anybody,” Tomlin said. “We were highly penalized. When you do those things, you’re going to lose I don’t care who is playing quarterback.”
Batch, forced to start because of injuries to Ben Roethlisberger and Byron Leftwich, threw three interceptions and the Steelers (6-5) lost five fumbles, the last on a desperation final-play lateral as they fell to the Browns (3-8) for just the second time in 18 games.
Batch finished 20 of 34 for 199 yards, but couldn’t rally the stumbling Steelers the way Big Ben can.
“I have to put it on my shoulders,” Batch said. “We had a chance to win, actually two, and I turned it over. Can’t do that. I made some bad throws. We had all the fumbles, and yet we still had a chance to win, that’s the crazy part.”
Browns rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden sustained a concussion in the final minutes, allowing backup Colt McCoy to come in and finish off a victory Cleveland fans will savor long after this season ends.